I saw a rheum earlier this year and she ran a number of tests. On the ANA the result came out as 0.7 weak positive. The ref. range was indicated as less than 0.7.The rheum said tests results looked fine. Does the weak positive really mean nothing? It also said on the results"Additional testing not recommended unless there is a strong suspicion of a connective tissue disorder." What would that be?
I have autoimmune thyroid disease and my pcp wanted everything checked out due to various issues.
Also tested was serum electrophoresis, does anyone know what that was about?
In terms of lupus , I do get a red area over my cheeks and bridge of my nose at times but it seems related to a stress situation and then it is gone . Would the malar rash just be there , then gone? Does it have sores associated with it? I have no sores .
Any help on this would really be appreciated, tomorrow I see another rheum mostly to rule out possible sjogren's , but I do not feel that I understood the ANA test and wonder about the possible malar rash.
Last edited by osteoblast; 05-06-2008 at 04:19 PM.
I also have positive ANA. My titer is 1:640. They have not found anything yet though disease wise that I have, just this high ANA. It was found last year.
I have myofascial pain syndrome, hypoadrenalism, and some other things as well as intermittent high calcium, so I am not sure what to make of this ANA. But I just wanted to let you know that mine is positive too with no other findings.
This is only my experience, I in no way am putting any medical facility or person down, I just know what my harrowing experience was.
I will share with you what I have learned going to Rheum's at a major MI university that is also a leading facility in Lupus & other CTD's research.
I will try to make this short. 14yrs. ago I started the journey of trying to find out what the heck was causing my symptoms. Joint pain, fatigue, muscle pain, periodic red facial rash, unusual reactions to sun, headaches,to name just a few. I went to PCP he did some tests, showed nothing. Sent me to numerous specialists including the only two Rheum's in my area. After all of these "specialists" telling me it was in my head,and 3yrs. w/o answers I had had enough! So I told my PCP that I couldn't take this anymore. He said that he had been doing some checking on the internet and had posted my case history on a site where dr.s talk to each other and both places said I needed to be seen by research specialists, because there was a reason for my symptoms.
That is how I got to where I am and have been for the past 11+ yrs. They were great they took my symptoms, and a detailed health history and of course tons of blood & urine. At first my labs were only off here and there. which is more than they showed in Ohio. I told them that everything had always come back "normal", they said that that didn't surprise them. Because so many smaller labs use the generic criteria for +,- etc. for there comparisons. That there were actually several criterias that are available for all labs to use, but because of cost most only use one. At this lab they use several, to come up with baselines. They also said that there are people (1%)who are actually only + for things when there is a high level of disease activity, they don't know why it is its just something they have found with research. Then there are going to be times where there are - when in the past it was +, but this is how it is in a small percentage of people. Anyway by the time I got to this facility I was already showing disease deterioration within my body. They started me on meds right away for Lupus and RA, because I had the physical symptoms though some of my labs were a little scattered. Well over time things really changed I would go through times of severe disease activity, and times of lesser activity. And yet my blood work only showed minimal fluctuations to these. Then about 5 yrs. ago all of my blood work went into "disease" mode and all that was to be + was & all that was to be abnormal was. But it took years to get the labs to "match" the physical disease activity in my body. I am so glad that I found this place, and that they started treating the disease physical symptoms so quickly. Because I had already started some kidney changes & other major organs, but the meds that I was started on helped to stop in some cases & slow down degeneration in others.
So I encourage you to keep searching and find a doctor who listens to YOU. One that specializes in Lupus if this is your symptoms. Remember Lupus wears "many hats" and it effects people in different ways. But with just what I have read in your post, makes me want to say again Don't stop being your own advocate, keep searching for the right specialist.
Osteoblast, hi. I want to "second" ACOhio's post. I also had a hard hard time getting answers, starting from childhood in western PA and continuing thru my adulthood near a huge East Coast metro area. My breakthru came only because I extracted myself from the clutches of my suburban drs. and went to a big-city teaching hospital rheumie, who made it look EASY.
That said, I'm pretty sure that *autoimmune thyroiditis* can also cause ANA to be positive. HOWEVER, since it can co-exist with lupus, I really think you should stay mindful of all your symptoms, incl. your facial rash.
There are 3 "sticky posts" (permanent info posts) at the top of the thread list with info on lupus & antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Additionally, there are two terrific hardcover lupus authors in most libraries & bookstores: Dr. Daniel Wallace is one & Dr. Robert Lahita is the other.
I'm only a patient, so I can't guess whether you have lupus in addition to your thyroid condition... I'm only suggesting that you read & chat, to make yourself familiar with the HUGE array of possible symptoms, the much narrower list of symptoms/tests that are included in the ACR criteria, and the specialized tests used in lupus.
And about those ACR criteria... VERY tricky! (1) For starters, they apply to your LIFETIME, meaning don't have to occur all at once. Think of each being checked off in indelible ink. You must meet 4 or more to sustain a Dx of SLE. (2) They describe *systemic* lupus (SLE), but there are lesser kinds, such as DLE & SCLE. And SCLE is weird, frankly, in that people with it can meet fewer than, or more than, 4 criteria. (3) Many drs. misinterpret the one re: anti-ds-DNA & anti-Sm, by thinking you *must* have one of these to have lupus. Not so! There are many *other* autoantibodies seen in lupus, but those others are not considered "diagnostic" because they are seen in other conditions as well as in lupus.
How do you feel, other than your intermittent facial reddening? Have you seen your bloodwork, to see what more specific tests were run, in addition to ANA?
Also, do you know why SJOGREN'S is being considered? I ask because the *anti-Ro* autoantibody is seen in Sjogren's, SLE, and the SCLE variant, also. FYI, I tested positive for anti-Ro. I'd had 8+ years of the SCLE annular nonscarring targetlike rash on my arms & torso, finally named by a dermatopathologist who did deep-punch biopsy, with immunofluorescent stain tests.
I'd had problems from early childhood on, but no rashes until my late 30's. Horrible GI problems for 20+ years. Urinary problems. Headaches. Anemia. Hair loss. Elevated sed rate & low-grade fevers. Joint pain. Fatigue going back decades. I'm a good example of just how SLOW the disease process can be in some people.
Anyway, I'll say bye for now. I hope you post more when you can. Meanwhile, sending you my very best wishes, Vee
MMee, ACOhio and Veej-Thanks folks so much for your responses. It is really helpful to hear from others with some knowledge and experience. Well, in the meantime since first posting, I have seen another rheum who looked at the earlier ANA results , electrophoresis etc, and she also did a physical exam (which the other rheum did not). So, I see the new rheum on this Fri. to go over results. I am apprehensive. Also saw the derm last week and she said the flushing and rash is rosacea. So, I hope she is right. I will update when I get the next lab results . . I know I should not just let this stuff go and need to follow up on it. In fact, the second rheum was surprised that the first did such a minimal review of things. It surprised me that she so directly criticised the other doc.
Does anyone understand though why me ANA results just came out as 0.7weak positive--everyone else seems to have much difft numbers on ANA --a ratio. This is where the new rheum made the comment, they didn't go further?? The lab should have taken this to the next step. Does anyone know what she meant?
Hi. THIS is EXACTLY where my current rheumie made his NASTY comments, on the "DIDN'T THEY GO FURTHER?" question. I'm only a patient (obviously), but the dr. *may* have meant, (1) weren't more specific bloodwork tests and urinalysis called for; and (2) weren't ALL the ACR criteria for lupus checked?
I can't second-guess your doctor... I think you should just ASK if she called for the tests that she thinks the others missed.
Hang in there & keep posing questions to your drs! All my best, Vee
Vee,mmee and ACO-
Thank you all for your kind responses. I do think the second rheum has a better approach. She in fact did the ANA over again(this is 5 months after the weak positive) all the Sm,Rnp,SSB, Immune Complex by Ciq,Fluid and solid,ESR, RA factor. She did not think I had the malar rash, she examined my body carefully.
This time the ANA was 1:80 homogenous pattern positive/other tests negative
Since I have extreme dry eyes, mouth skin, oral recurring sores, I am scheduled for a lip biopsy in about 2 wks to rule in/out sjogren's. Also have the hashimoto's and maybe that alone is elevating ANA-who knows?
I don't know if this is all leading anywhere else. It is curious to me that my ANA at first rheum went from weak positive 0.07. Now 1:80 which puts it between low positive and positive.
I just want to again thank you folks for the prompting and pushing to just keep trying to figure things out.
In my experience it has almost always taken weeding through a number of drs. that seem not to care, seem disinterested, seem mean , seem NOT HELPFUL-then you find someone.But, by that time you feel so tired and weakened by the ordeal and what you are going through that I think you come off as a difficult patient. I am convinced I am not difficult , despite what I have been through I try to stay positive, not too neurotic with the symptoms and experience with doctors-by keeping a balanced life as much as possible, being courteous to the dr. and their staff, appreciative of their efforts and fully cognizant that I am by no means in the worst shape of their patients and that they are very busy with a full load. I just courteously ask for what I would consider decent treatment for anyone. When doctors can't /won't provide it I have had to move on. I am convinced you will not change a dr. Anyone else have to do this dr. shuffle , and get soo tired of moving on? Since Jan, I have a new pcp who my phys. ther. had to beg to let me into her closed practice. And I think the pcp is turning around my heretofore hideous med. experience. In fact I know she is making so much of a positive difference. She has told me flat out, I am in your corner. And, has said this on two occassions. The first time I started crying-she was so forthright about wanting to try to help me-no dr. had ever come close to saying anything like that. And, she has followed through. So, I am very thankful to have been able to get into her practice. I am pretty convinced that a good dr. can make a big difference -not that the CURE of everything will be found, but you can release the tension that you are going at it alone with no help. I hope everyone could find such a dr.
Last edited by osteoblast; 05-30-2008 at 10:48 AM.